When your dog or cat wants attention, you stop what you are doing and get caught up in the moment of petting or playing with your dog or cat. For most people, there is no doubt that pets are great companions and that they are good for everybody (young and old people). For many adults, especially those who live alone, animals are like family members. They fulfil our need for affection and attention like only animals can do.

Edenton assisted living residents enjoy several dog team visits from Wags for Hope volunteers each week- Toby, Hank and Vego. We have been fortunate to have regular visits with dogs, but no cats.

A fairly new concept has emerged in the memory care environment that is called animal assisted activity. This activity provides opportunities for recreational, motivational, educational, &/or therapeutic benefits and enhancing quality of life. Knowing that several of our residents had cats previously as pets, we knew they would enjoy a cat while some people prefer dogs.

So, Garden House recently “adopted” two cats. These Joy For All Companion Pets, one is a silver tabby and the other an orange tabby, look, feel and sound like real cats. These are not the usual stuffed animals one normally would see in a memory care facility, but a special cat that responds to petting, hugging and motion. Just like a real cat would purr when petted, or roll over for attention, these cats have built in censors that respond to touch and motion.  The more you pet the cat, the more relaxed it will get. It might even close its eyes and snooze.

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